Five New Poems by Matt Duggan

The Citadel

Metal spikes made from blue glass and silver are unhooked –
pierced inside shop entrances when closed
like dystopian fly- traps laid out to deter the homeless;

Shopping mall and arcade are pitched and layered
in stolen quilts, tents, and corners of toy cardboard.

Between the thin cracks when the elevator rests
I hear a dead blues singer and her rasping tones
filtering through corners like light on flash white algae;
Towers in settler red and gold paint a self-portrait of this city
Finger prints are used to milk tongues in clear digital chloroform.

Outside the diner I see an angel of disparity
walking in green squares – her eyes are like a mad bear
chained at a circus; A sign attached around her head that reads…
‘No WIFI, Just Smiles and Good Conversation…….’

A Starbucks beaker swirls in the bleached sun shining of dimes and quarters
where bodies are armed with designer shoes that step over empty cat litter trays;
I look onto a world as a stranger in a very familiar and unequal land –
Enforcement officers in lap-top black eat chilli-dogs
monitoring the latest headcount at Camp Hooverville –
Now let’s move them on and make space at the Citadel.


Love and Cinema

Colour of her face changed
when the moon draw obsidian shapes
across her skin; head outlined in oval
like a pencil sketch made without any paper.

Could she scream and feel the convulsion of light
inside of her? That impossible inclination
that love was an imaginary scene –
audio textures taken from a film;

She closed her tin box of bitter resentments –
Placing them inside her embroidered
yellow pocket for an hour
she only ever came alive when the darkness filled the auditorium;

When impenetrable light was banished to the foyer;
It was only then that she could watch herself fall in love all over again.


The People Who Live Inside

The men we knew as children
once fought imaginary witches on the high street
Now they’ve succumbed to the hibernating of a petition signer –
Scoffing on winter- berry and prosecco hand cooked crisps
served up with quinoa oatmeal and a strawberry infused cappuccino breath;

They listened to the metal wings at night as a star of light filtering
on paths of telephoning drones; Slowing down their flight by throwing
sharp rocks of envious proclamations that lobotomised thoughts
into jars suckled on the ink from fingers – just another tick for the men
who carry knifes; an opening for light to shine and give life back to the elevation of life.


An American Breakfast

After returning to the subtle sound of traffic
I reflected on journeys from cradle of liberty
to the widening crack in Liberty Bell;

I drank a straw of Bukowski’s Blood
in a velvet bar full of rain; Fed myself up on cheesesteaks
suckled on the dew from an ancient Oyster Bis,
(made from the freshest of fish brains.)

I ate waffles with cream and jalapeno for breakfast
then watched the Citgo sign of Boston switch back on –
where Duke and Billie Holiday once sang and performed.

Skin floats between chrome towers a stub of fresh blood;
Vampires on Wall Street step over sleeping bodies
like dried cum stains on bathroom floors –
Flesh is cold and some are still warm and twitching.


Knowing the Enemy

When you take the journey on long tilted steps;
always remember to look back and see
where footprints rest and tired lungs slept;

Feel inside the eye as an aerial beacon
a drone with a soul covered with skin
the eye to an eagle that scans the blueness;
on new paths and challenges it brings

Enemies will reveal their envy
like some new human hidden illness –
those who you once thought of as very close friends
will disrupt the momentum of the path that you are taking;

The heart will recover from such minor indispositions –
on a journey towards fulfilment and reaching the final goal.

About the contributor

Matt Duggan's poems have appeared in many journals such as The Journal, The Dawntreader, Into the Void, Ink, Sweat, and Tears, Ghost City Review, Lakeview International Journal, Matt won the Erbacce Prize for Poetry in 2015 and the Into the Void Prize in 2016, he has a new chapbook out called A Season in Another World (Thirty West Publishing House). and has just returned from readings in Boston, New York, and Philly.

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